London's Excel Centre could become giant coronavirus field hospitalMarch 23, 2020
London’s Excel Centre could become giant coronavirus field hospital after military planners visited to see how it could help in fight against pandemic
- ExCeL Centre in London’s docklands could become coronavirus field hospital
- Planners from the Ministry of Defence have visited the exhibition space
- Hospitals across London are coming under severe strain as cases escalate
- The capital has seen 2,189 cases – the most of any region in the UK
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A major exhibition centre in central London could be turned into an emergency field hospital for coronavirus patients if cases increase as the current, it has emerged.
The Ministry of Defence is believed to be considering taking over the ExCeL Centre in London’s docklands as hospitals across the city reach breaking point.
London has seen 2,189 cases of coronavirus, the most of any region in the UK, and is believed to be several weeks ahead of the rest of the country.
Military planners were seen visiting the site to to determine how it might help response to coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Defence is believed to be considering taking over the ExCeL Centre in London’s docklands as hospitals across the city reach breaking point
Spokesman for the MoD said: ‘To assist NHS England to prepare for a number of scenarios as the coronavirus outbreak unfolds, a team of military planners visited the ExCeL centre in London to determine how the centre might benefit the NHS response to the outbreak.’
Ministers have not yet made any final decision on how the centre could be used.
The huge venue, which was constructed in 2000, sits on a 100-acre site, and has been used for a range of events including boxing, fencing, and wrestling during the 2012 Olympics.
The huge venue, which was constructed in 2000, sits on a 100-acre site, and has been used for a range of events including boxing, fencing, and wrestling during the 2012 Olympics
It has a capacity at any one time for 68,750 visitors and can split into several different halls.
On Sunday, Spain opened Madrid’s Ifema exhibition complex to accommodate patients after the number of cases in the country exploded, with hundreds of deaths within 24 hours.
The field hospital will have 5,500 beds once it is fully sent up, including 500 in an intensive care unit.
Health workers prepare to receive the first patients with coronavirus at Ifema exhibition complex in Madrid, Spain on Sunday
The Community of Madrid and the UME (Spanish Emergency Army Unit) are installing a specific hospital for COVID-19 with 5,500 beds and an UCI (Intensive Care Unit)
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